Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Today I had my first Albanian lesson and, as predicted, it was very painful. But I have a great teacher - one of the girls from the Bible Study - and she only laughed at me a few times. So that was nice of her.
Did you know that the Albanian alphabet has 36 characters? You're probably aware that the English alphabet only has 26 characters. That's an increase of 10. This is bad news to begin with.

So here they are, my new nemeses:

C (except the one with the little squiggle at the bottom like in French. I can't work out how to write it on this keyboard. Let down.) - sounds like CH (nice and easy, although I'd like to say that "c" isn't pronounced "see" it's pronounced TSA, or like piZZA. Who's daunted yet?)

DH - sounds like THE (but not "the", more like "thay". Say it like you say THEY)

E (with two little dots on the top. Again, let down by the keyboard) - sounds like UUH (kind of, but mostly not when it's at the end of a word because then you don't really pronounce it at all, helpfully)

GJ - sounds like J (which is easy. Phew)

Ll - sounds like Ll (which isn't the same as L. Apparently. Very far from perfecting that one)

NJ - sounds like NOTHING I KNOW (literally we have no sound that corresponds. So just say it like you see it)

RR - sounds like rolling your r's (which I have never been able to do and am not much closer to doing even after this afternoon's very painful attempts)

SH - sounds like SH (Hooray!)

TH - sounds like TH (again, hooray!)

XH - sounds like G (as in Germs. Manageable)

ZH - sounds like GE (as in beiGE. Obviously)

You all need to get practising because I'm going to test you when I'm home. If you're in this with me then you can feel my alphabetical pain too.

And in other news:

Last night it was a balmy -12 degrees outside and it didn't feel much warmer inside. My saving grace was my electic blanket. And Jesus, obviously.

For those of you concerned about the progress of my knitting, you'll be pleased to know that I'm just finishing up the second arm of my current project, a small jumper. I did discover the other day that I've knitted the entire back in the wrong size needles!! But since that's going to be the least of this jumper's worries, I don't think anyone will notice.

I think that's it from me today. Stay classy Englanders, and thanks for stopping by.


  1. Bonne chance. And other encouraging things in foreign languages. Take heart from the fact that you've already learnt more Albanian than Dad managed in his entire 13 months in Kosova. You win.

  2. Wow, an extra ten letters! I wonder if you could get an Albanian tape and listen to it in your sleep - that works doesn't it? Think about Chandler in Friends, "You're a strong, confident woman," and well, we all know how that one turned out...

    Thinking of you daily my love xx


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